IN our country, the objective of politics has been to serve society in a real sense and not just enjoy the power. It is a medium of building the society and the nation. Many great personalities in the country have sacrificed their lives for this objective. They became the foundation stones without expecting anything in return. They did the politics of exemplary character and high values. Therefore, it is a must for anybody who joins politics today, to understand the real character of politics.
Surely, there is a crisis of credibility in politics today. But since the beginning, in the form of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been working to reestablish high character and values in politics. Every worker of the party is committed to these values and tries to show as well as follow them in their daily conduct. We know the values in politics have fallen very low and some people and the parties have set very wrong precedents, but the BJP never supported them and never will.
Youth have a significant role to play in politics. It is beyond any doubt that they have the capability to bring desirable change. They have proved it many times. In our party also, many youth leaders have shown wonderful results. That is why this time we have given more representation to youth. Eighty per cent of the office bearers are below 60 and most of the general secretaries are below 50. It’s a blueprint for the future. At lower level also the youth have been given key posts and are being involved in the decision making and implementation process.
Bharat is the only country in the world with the largest number of youth. Our youth have scored some astonishing achievements at the global level. They have their own identity today in the field of software development. But while feeling proud of some of our youth, we cannot ignore the reality that two-thirds of our youth live in the villages. They are struggling with poverty and unemployment in the backward regions of Jharkahnd, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar. The disturbing fact is that the biggest section found under the Naxal influence is the youth. It is our collective responsibility to help these youth join the mainstream and contribute significantly in the task of nation building.
What I want to say the problems of youth in the country are diverse. The biggest one is that of unemployment, because this is the first problem taking advantage of which youth are easily drawn towards crime and terrorism. During the NDA regime, employment generation was given top priority. In the history of Independent India, the maximum employment generation was done during the NDA regime and due to the wrong economic policies of the UPA government, unemployment has relentlessly increased. If the rate of growth remains 5 per cent, then there is a danger of getting crores of youth unemployed.
Another important aspect associated with youth is fast declining moral values. The recent Delhi gang rape case displayed the same. The society and the government should together attempt to make youth inclined towards Bharatiyata and moral values. If we are able to impart good values, its impact will be witnessed in all spheres of life. After all they have to take over all the sectors as responsible citizens in coming days. It is our collective responsibility to develop them as responsible citizens.
There is one more significant fact. We, including the youth, want to see India as a great country in the 21st century. But do we have the vision, which can make India great in the 21st century? The entire country is today looking at the BJP for this vision. Congress was formed before Independence, and that too by a Britisher in the 19th century. The Congress saw its peak in the 20th century. On the other hand the BJP was formed after Independence in the 20th century. When India entered the 21st century the leadership of India was in the hands of BJP under the leadership of Shri Atalji. Therefore, I feel the 20th century belonged to the Congress and 21st century will belong to the BJP.
The biggest blunder that the Congress committed after Independence was to continue the British system of governance. India could never come out of that slave mindset. We sometimes imitated Russia and sometimes followed the US. We continued to ignore the traditional treasurer of knowledge and science due to this slave mindset imposed on us by the Britishers. Today, it is being said across the world that India has the capacity to become ‘Intellectual Capital’ of the world. But are we working in that direction is the bigger question. I don’t say it due to some political bias, but on the basis of facts. We never paid attention to Fundamental Scientific Research. And the reality is that the one who focuses on Fundamental Scientific Research leads the world. If get an opportunity, we will promote research in fundamental science and Indian science. India’s capacity to lead the world in the 21st century will come to the fore only when basic science and basic technology will be our own.
Congress, which was formed in the time of slavery, has failed to come out of that mindset. Therefore, Congress never had the self-confidence to establish the real capacity of India at the global level. If we come to power we assure that the BJP has the vision, which can make India the intellectual capital of the world and even more than that it can again make India the jagatguru. Apart from it, the BJP also has a vision and agenda for youth to involve them in society and nation building. I call upon the youth to join us in large numbers and help build the nation of the dreams of our great personalities and also the future aspirations. For any lasting change what we need the most is national character and high values in both our personal and public conduct. Let us start from ourselves and then tell others to follow.
(The writer is national president of Bharatiya Janata Party. As told to Pramod Kumar).